Paula's Quilt Page

After four years of law school, and doing so much legal work that requires research and reading, it’s a relief to get away from written word in the evening.  One of my past times is quilting. It can also be done in front of the evening news, in the car on vacation, and in the court house while waiting for hearings to get started.   At home, I either sew when I have little legal work to do, or quilt manically when I’m really stressed about a project and haven’t put together the argument in my mind yet.  After a couple days of manic quilting, I usually just sit down and write.  

I started quilting when Hannah was a baby, starting with a baby doll quilt for her.  It’s not very good, but on the other hand, I now realize that the tiny quilt squares are pretty unusual!   So it remains one of my favorites.   It's about 14 inches wide by about 24 inches long.

I started this flower quilt, which hangs in the kitchen, on vacation to California.  Scissors, my rolling cutter, as well as other sewing supplies were with me on the plane.  Now I have to be sure I cut everything out before boarding!  I added the borders after returning home.

I like flags.  So I made a flag quilt from a kit.  Ric was appalled, however that it only had 12 stars, so I had to reconfigure it for 13 starts.

A good friend I met through a case painted our house in return for legal work.   He liked to fish, so I made him a fishing quilt for Christmas.  We were rewarded for efforts of everyone involved at Christmas of 2000 with the safe return of his granddaughter to her Mom.  I always silently add the phrase “with my granddaughter” when I look at the quilt, and thank God for victories.   My quilting is getting better as well.!

My sister made an “I spy” quilt for one of my nephews.  Thinking that his brother needed one of his own, I started a “bug bottle” quilt for their bedroom wall.  Before I finished it, she gave his brother a Harry Potter quilt, so they got two quilts that year.  Beware cheap batting!  The batting sheds right through the black background on this quilt.  It was a huge disappointment.   But who can't have fun figuring out how to piece a cockroach?

Finally, I have a web page on how the NH DMV stole my license plate without any legal authorization.  Yes, they came with GUNS to remove my license plate from my car.  And they didn’t even give me a replacement.  The full web page is elsewhere, but the quilt about it is right here.

After looking at my list of "UFOs", I realize that quilting can get pretty mixed up.  The arrival of James Malcolm in October of 2004 put most of our quilt projects on hold for the summer.  My brother and sister-in-law didn't know if James would be a girl or boy, so my sister Beth picked a kite pattern to decorate the nursery.  She did the quilt, and I did the bumper pads and valance for the curtain.  I think it came out pretty well, and I finished the bumper pads five minutes before Beth pulled into town for Jame's christening!  Plenty of time to spare. 

Here's the valance, which I made.

Unbelievably, some of my most extensive work isn't up here.  I spent almost a year hand-piecing and quilting a wool batted quilt for reenacting the revolutionary war.  When I went to wash out the quilt markings, my husband tossed it in the dryer.  (Yes, I did at least have  passing thoughts of divorce and murder - both as a matter of fact!)  So I never did take a picture of it finished.  It makes me sick to look at it.   My house sitter re-washed it the summer of the bike ride, and just about finished it off.  It's about the size of a crib quilt now.

I also made a queen sized quilt for my father -in-law's cabins on his property.  It took almost two years to finish when my daughter was a baby.   He died the week after I finally gave it to him.   I didn't wind up with the quilt when we sold the house, and I forgot to take a picture of it. 

Flannel Quilts

I finished two flannel quilts this year (2004).  The first I did during the extremely cold winter of January, 2004.  I was frozen all the time, so quilting it in the living room in front of the TV was attractive.   It's gotten a lot of use during those long nights with insomnia this past year.  Lots of quilting and movies taking place in the wee hours at our house.  The second one is a dinosaur quilt I promised my newphew when I found out this past summer he was the world's premier saurophile - yep - it means dinosaur lover.  We checked with Richard Lederer, who ought to know the correct term.   Of course, I decided to go with "dinophile" on the quilt.  I figured if it was wrong, at least Carl would get it at age five.  

I've come to the conclusion that flannel quilts just aren't terribly photogenic.  Both of these are much nicer than they appear on this page.  On the other hand, I'm ready for an eye-popping colorful project! Oh wait, the crib bumpers were a colorful project. . . . how quickly we forget.

Summer, 2005

I haven't done a lot of quilting this year.   I've been working on some reenacting projects, and I spent a couple of weeks fixing up my sewing room.  I managed to score the MOST amazing 2' x 10' x 1" solid wood / formica surface table top  for $10 that just wanted to be a huge sewing table, so it took about a week to rearrange the sewing room to accomodate the new  toy.   And now I have a set-up with all three of my machines.   Ijust used the entire table top to hold the weight of the most recent quilt to put on the binding, and it worked like a charm.  No fighting to keep the border under the presser foot, and my binding seam was straighter than just about any quilt I've done.

However, in April, we received an invitation to our friend's surprise 25th anniversary party.  (Note: This was just a bit depressing, since these friends are a whole lot younger than we are, but we dealt.)   At any rate, having ignored big projects for a while, I was ready for a challenge, so I called their daughter and said, "Let's make them a quilt."   They were all for the idea, although I was having second thought when I found out they had a king size bed.   However, we managed to set up a "quilting bee" day.  Their daughter Bethany, their son's girlfriend Sasha, my daughter Hannah and myself had a huge quilting bee the second weekend in June.  We had chosen the pattern, decided on batiks,  and I made sure we had enough to keep us busy.  I did discover at the last minute that I was about 10 fat quarters short, but we had enough waste that I managed to get the last 10 squares out of the scraps. 

I had no intention of quilting a king-size quilt, and our time frame wasn't such that it was even a possibility anyway, so I made arrangements even before the quilting bee to have it quilted locally.   I was wildly happy with the results.  Hey, let's face it.  Machine quilted with a professional quilting machine with a "stitch regulator" just can't compete with a home machine trying to do the job anyway.   Uh, I thinK I meant to say the home machine can't compete with the professional, computer-programmed quilting machine.   At any rate, it came out great!   Even the quilters were impressed that I had three teens working on the project!   My hats are off to them.  We took a difficult project, and we succeeded in making a great quilt!  I picked up the quilt after we got home from vacation on the 23rd of July, and the quilt was bound and had a label by the party on July 31!  I'd call that pretty good work.   Certainly if you consider the size of the project, it was also my fastest work yet.

The quilt block pattern was from Karla Anderson's book Stack a New Deck.   We changed the piecing from curved to straight, and enlarged the blocks.  

Current UFO's.   (quilt speak for unfinished projects. . . )

Let's see -

1)    a "Dear Jane" quilt.  It may go on our bed, or I may save it for after Ella goes to the big dog party in the sky.   I can only cut and prepare about  three quilt sqauares in a sitting, so it goes pretty slowly.  I sew the quilt squares when I'm out of the house or occasionally in front of the TV.   Since it's not the only project, it goes slowly.

2)    Hannah's unfinished bed quilt.  She just moved from a twin to a queen sized bed, so we have a problem here.   It's buried in the sewing room so I don't have to think about it.    Have to get started on the college quilt soon. . . .

4)   a clock-quilt I'm using part of a pattern for, and part designing it myself.  Yes, the clock is supposed to work when it's done.

5)   A quilted petticoat for reenacting for Hannah.  I'm using cream-colored silk batted to wool, and quilting it in red silk thread.  I tend to do that one in stretches.   Draw, quilt, draw, quilt. . . most of the time it just sits in the living room.

Other stuff:

I took a "spoon-making class" in the fall of 2004 at the Kimball Jenkins Art School in Concord.  What do spoons have to do with quilting?  They take time away from quilting, for one. . . . . . but, it's another hobby, and the results are a little faster than quilting.   Quilters love beautiful things, and these qualify.   The picture shows two of my best efforts.   My page on spoons is here.

What would anyone's quilt page be without a few favorite quilting links?  Here are a few of mine:

Keepsake Quilting.  Aren't we lucky to have it right here in New Hampshire?

Calico Cupboard.   My favorite little quilt store.   I like knowing that my mother in law used to shop there as well.

Dorr Woolen Mill Store.  Absolutely the best hand-dyed wool I've found anywhere.  Whether you use it for rugs, wool quilting or making clothes, it's worth a trip.

Little Lamb Quilt Shop
-   In Caleb Corner, Barrinton, NH (Route 9 just west of Route 125)  - Caleb's next door is an old fashioned general store in Barrington.  Well worth the trip if you like good food and aged cheese.  The quilt store has a large selection of wonderful  reproduction fabrics and carries hand-dyed wool from Door  Woolen Mill,  AND carries that new "Minkee Blankee" fabric from Benartex in wonderful pastels, of course.   If you haven't seen a baby blankee made out of it, you don't know what you're missing.  It IS as soft as mink.   Can you tell I liked the store, and got clipped for a bundle on my first trip there?  I have a new route home from my allergist's office.   Yippie!

The Moses House.  My favorite quilt book store.   They have a couch in a sunny room you can sit on while you peruse hundreds of books.  If they sold Lattes so you could sit there just like Borders, it would be even better.

Portsmouth Fabric Company.   Inspirational for quilts and any other sewing project you can think of!  I try not to miss it when I hit Portsmouth.

Capital Quilter's Guild. I finally joined it this past year.

Don't you just hate Sunbonnet Sue quilts?  For those that think they're evil, here's a link to bad Sue blocks.   And some more. . . .

Quilter's Review.  If you're wondering how well the gadgets you're finding in your quilt catalogs or at the store work here's the place to find out.  I met this lady at the Capital Quilter's Guild Meeting. 

Last updated 2005 Feb 14.  Contact Paula Werme.